Topeka 4:08 p.m.
Westar Energy says the coolest summer in more than 40 years has had a negative financial impact.
The largest electric utility in Kansas revised downward its full-year 2009 earnings guidance to a range of $1.35 to $1.45 per share from a previous guidance of $1.65 to $1.80 per share.
The reasons for the downward revision were the coolest third quarter since 1967 and lower energy marketing margins, the Topeka-based company said.
The depressed energy marketing has been caused by wholesale energy prices hitting their lowest levels in a decade, Westar officials said.
In response, Westar said it notified 21 employees in energy trading that their positions are either being eliminated or they are being reassigned.
Westar has a total workforce of nearly 2,400 employees.
In the next few days, state employees will learn in detail about increases they will have to pay for health insurance.
The increase will be about 10 percent for the employee, while state agencies are going to have to pay 12.5 percent more, according to Gov. Mark Parkinson’s budget director Duane Goossen.
During the last legislative session, lawmakers swept approximately $60 million out of the balance of the state employee insurance plan to help balance the state budget.
But Goossen said Wednesday that is not the reason for the increase. He said the state’s self-insured plan is spending more than it is taking in. He said for the past few years, the costs to employees has remained flat.
Enrollment for the insurance program starts Oct. 1. The increases will take effect Jan. 1, 2010.